Tag Archives: Inc.

Old Time Music in Siouxland, Le Mars

4 Sep

I have lived in the Siouxland area a little over a decade now and while amazed, am not surprised that I keep finding events and places I have not visited, for which I am the poorer for it.

One such event in Le Mars, Iowa, that this year celebrated its 40th year, is the National Traditional Country Music Association, Inc. It is a 7-day festival at the fairgrounds celebrating old time music, much like was played in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”. It touches on a lot of genres and like any music festival, the halls and grounds ring with music. If not from the stage shows, then from the impromptu jam sessions that occur.

I only attended one day, but it was a day filled with an overload of music. The evenings are attended by more people when folk are off work, but there were a fair number there during the day as well. As is often said, “it was a good time had by all.” And an event well worth the time to visit and just enjoy the music that early America grew up on and is still played today.

I recorded a couple groups playing and posted. One the groups is an all girl band, Twang,  with one mom and four young ladies from Arkansas. Their playing is very tight and are simply amazing.



I also heard Glenn Douglas Tubb, nephew of Ernest Tubb.



I saw Roni Stoneman jamming with some other musicians on the grounds. Stoneman played a number of years on the the TV show Hee Haw. A program my parents watched and enjoyed. Other notables did perform and will be performing. A worthwhile event to attend and just forget about the daily events and immerse oneself in music.

The Ohio River Minstrels




Ronnie Jay Wheeler





Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa



Siouxland rain and thunder show

30 Jun

Today it again rained like crazy with tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings in the Siouxland area of Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. I haven’t heard the official or even an unofficial report of fallen rain, but it poured most of the morning so 4-5 inches would be a conservative guess. I came across four gentlemen seeking shelter from the storm, as it were, literally, under the awning of a Hy Vee food store gas station. The four are members of the Illinois Chapter of the Rolling Thunder, a club created to remember those military members who are MIA or missing in action. This is the description of the club on its website: “Incorporated in 1995, Rolling ThunderÒ, Inc. is a class 501(c) (4) non-profit organization with over 90 chartered chapters throughout the United States and members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. are veterans and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for the Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action (POW/MIA) of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.”

As I walked over to ask their permission to photograph them, it began pouring rain, and I took four photographs before running back to my own vehicle for shelter. I don’t know if these guys found a place to hold up for a while, but it is almost four hours later and it is still raining off and on. Up until 12 noon, thunder was reverberating all around and water running down the streets. I am sure they will find a safe journey to wherever they are going. I didn’t take the time to ask as I was drenched by the time I got back to my vehicle. But they and others help remind us of the cost of this country pursuing certain paths that may or may not prove fruitful to the country as a whole. A political discussion I sometimes have with friends. Albeit, my friends are polite, and we discuss, rather than accuse or yell at one another and the impasse of what has become our acting government. And I don’t think there are enough blogs, bloggers or other means of communication that will ever be able to complete that discussion. But hopefully as these gentlemen remind us, there are continuing discussions that need to be ongoing. Safe journey.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Rolling Thunder Rolling Thunder

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